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16 Non-Alcoholic Trader Joe's Drinks You Should Have In Your Fridge, Ranked

Trader Joe's Nonalcholic beverages
Trader Joe's Nonalcholic beverages - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

Trader Joe's is not exactly a secret. It's a cult-favorite grocery store with enough of a devoted customer base to warrant increasingly more product reviews, new item announcements, and availability updates. I can't say that I'm any different -- when it comes to Trader Joe's, I want to stay informed.

Fun new snacks, easy frozen items, and affordable but fancy cheese are all hot topics at Trader Joe's. But if you're looking for your new favorite non-alcoholic beverage, you can definitely find it at this store, too. From shelf-stable to refrigerated, from black coffee to sweet hot cocoa, and from fresh-tasting smoothies to childhood classic lemonade, there's something for everyone.

I came into this taste test with the expectation of tasting some generally decent beverages. I came out of this taste test with a lot more products added to my next grocery list. Probably too many. But that's Trader Joe's for you. I'm excited to share my ranking of the best non-alcoholic beverages, from worst to best.

Read more: 15 Boba Flavors, Ranked Worst To Best

16. Organic Lemonade

Trader Joe's Organic Lemonade
Trader Joe's Organic Lemonade - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

Have you noticed that this list doesn't discriminate in favor of fancy beverages? I know that sometimes, and some people, really just prefer to enjoy a cup of hot cocoa, chocolate milk, or lemonade as opposed to Sparkling Coconut Water with Yuzu. And there's nothing wrong with it. But when you decide to satisfy your lemonade fix with a trip to Trader Joe's, why not go for some of the slightly upgraded stuff? This Organic Lemonade is definitely a tad better than that powdery stuff you grew up with. It's even easier, too.

Fine, it doesn't taste like you squeezed your own lemons to create this drink. Even so, there's a nice, fresh lemony brightness, and it doesn't just taste like flavored water. I thought it serves as a great middle-ground, especially if you serve it in a pretty pitcher with some ice cubes and maybe a few slices of lemon floating on top.

15. Organic Carrot Turmeric Juice Blend

Trader Joe's Organic Carrot Juice Blend
Trader Joe's Organic Carrot Juice Blend - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

Everyone knows that carrots are good for you. But even though they are absolutely packed with nutrients, they aren't exactly the most exciting of foods. And it is completely understandable if you would rationalize that, subsequently, carrots do not make for the most exciting of juices. Trader Joe's decided to fix that. Okay, fine, this Organic Carrot Turmeric Juice Blend still isn't the most exciting drink I've ever tried, but it definitely moved up on the list

Don't just pick this off the shelves due to its health benefits — it actually tastes decent, too. Trader Joe's added turmeric, which also boasts its own health benefits, to spice up the flavor. Turmeric has a glowing, slightly peppery flavor and warmth without heat. It's exactly what the potentially bland carrot juice needs in a companion. Sure, I felt healthy drinking it, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I wouldn't drink it even if it were less nutritious.

14. Unsweetened Almond, Cashew & Macadamia Nut Beverage

Trader Joe's Unsweetened Nut Beverage
Trader Joe's Unsweetened Nut Beverage - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

Maybe you have tried, out of necessity or curiosity, alternatives to cow's milk. If so, then maybe you have tried almond milk, cashew milk, or macadamia nut milk individually.  So how would it taste if you took some of each and mixed it all together into an all-new nut milk? As it turns out, it tastes pretty good, if a bit grainy.

This milk is mildly creamy. If you're hoping for a thick, rich, almost decadent milk, this isn't it; but none of those nut milks individually have that quality, either. But don't worry, this Trader Joe's beverage isn't watery or weak. As far as flavor goes, it's got a bit of that tropical, buttery taste of macadamia, a bit of the mellow, toasty taste of almonds, and a bit of that nutty, full-bodied taste of cashews. It's a really fun new alternative milk to try, especially if you can't decide which one you like best.

13. Organic Sparkling Lemon + Strawberry Apple Cider Vinegar Beverage

Trader Joe's Apple Cider Vinegar Beverage can
Trader Joe's Apple Cider Vinegar Beverage can - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

Apple cider vinegar has taken over the health-food scene over the last few years. Though some of the apple cider vinegar claims are myths, others hold some truth. So why not test them out yourself and see how you feel if you incorporate a little apple cider vinegar into your life? It's easy to do by way of a creative drink like Trader Joe's Organic Sparkling Lemon + Strawberry Apple Cider Vinegar Beverage?

This canned beverage is bright and zesty, and makes you pucker just the tiniest bit. Bubbly, acidic lemon paired with juicy strawberry is always a winning combo. The apple cider vinegar, meanwhile, deepens the flavor and adds complexity in the same way that a dash of balsamic vinegar can brighten a dinnertime dish. I appreciated this drink much more than I expected, but it was still a little polarizing.

12. Ginger Lemon Probiotic Sparkling Beverage

Trader Joe's Ginger Lemon Beverage
Trader Joe's Ginger Lemon Beverage - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

This next beverage is an interesting one. It has ginger, so you might think it's basically ginger ale. Well, no, not really. It has lemon, so you might think it tastes like lemonade. Definitely not. It's sparkling, so you might think it's just another flavored sparkling water. Nope, that's severely underestimating it. So what is it, really? Let's dive in.

This drink is a little bit sour, quite tart, and refreshing in a bracing way rather than an indulgent way. That's probably due to the presence of the probiotics. Microscopic live organisms exist in certain cultures that can be incorporated into foods and drinks, as it is here. These organisms support "good" bacteria in our bodies, and have proven health benefits, particularly for our digestion. So all that to say, yes, you may indeed consider this drink "healthy." It's not my favorite, but it's refreshing.

11. Cold Brew Coffee

Trader Joe's Cold Brew Coffee
Trader Joe's Cold Brew Coffee - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

Listen, there was no way we were getting out of a Trader Joe's beverage taste test without trying some form of a coffee drink. So, I decided to go straight to the point and sample their prepared Cold Brew Coffee. Though it is not found in the refrigerated section, obviously it is meant to be served chilled, and ideally over ice.

This is a solid cold brew. It's nothing particularly special: At this point, there are so many artisanal and small-batch coffee brands on the market that you can definitely find a super high-quality cold brew coffee if you're looking for it. If you just want a basic, reliably decent brew to buy a few stash in your fridge for busy mornings, however, Trader Joe's has you covered. Sometimes cold brews can lean towards bitterness, but not this one; it's surprisingly mild and mellow. I would have no qualms about picking it up again.

10. Organic Cold Pressed Orange Juice

Trader Joe's Organic Orange Juice
Trader Joe's Organic Orange Juice - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

This small, unassuming bottle of orange juice probably isn't the most exciting item in a Trader Joe's (the ridiculously popular kimbap might win). But if you write it off as "just orange juice," you're going to really be missing out on some liquid gold. This isn't your regular grocery-store orange juice. There's a reason a 12-ounce bottle is $2.49.

On the Trader Joe's website, the Organic Cold Pressed Orange Juice's page claims that it "actually tastes like it came straight from an orange. Because it did." It's not a lie. This stuff is pure sunshine in a bottle, bright and sweet and bursting with flavor. It's organic, which explains some of it, but the rest just seems like wizardry. If you're looking for a high-quality orange juice that doesn't taste stale and tired like some of the others on the market, give this one a shot.

9. Sparkling Green Tea With Pineapple

Green Tea Pineapple Trader Joe's
Green Tea Pineapple Trader Joe's - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

This product might seem like three somewhat unrelated words thrown together. Sparkling Green Tea with Pineapple... is green tea, but make it chilled and sparkling? Okay. And pineapple? Why pineapple? But Trader Joe's was onto something here.

Green tea is not naturally sweet or effervescent. Its charm lies in its herbal, organic yet refined flavor. So it actually makes a lot of sense to add some opposing elements. The carbonation provides playfulness, lighting up the otherwise heady green tea. Next, pineapple is one of the most vibrant and syrupy fruits around, so what better choice for providing some sweetness? Not too sugary, not too wholesome, not too anything — just right. If you also think that pineapple is a superior fruit, you might want to use it in more homemade beverages, too, like a version of a popular Starbucks drink that you can whip up in your own kitchen.

8. Chocolate Almond Protein Smoothie Beverage

Chocolate Almond Protein Smoothie Beverage
Chocolate Almond Protein Smoothie Beverage - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

Protein is essential for staying healthy — but it's also essential for staying full. The easiest way to hit your target protein levels while also getting to work on time without a bunch of dishes in the sink is to grab a protein smoothie. One and done. Trader Joe's Chocolate Almond Protein Smoothie Beverage is ready to go, the most portable and low-effort means to a fueled day.

This powerhouse smoothie contains 23 grams of protein, which is more than your average protein bar. It also contains a highly drinkable, not chalky or metallic, beverage. Many protein "shakes" or smoothies are only mildly enjoyable, but not this one. It's lightly chocolatey, thick, and creamy with a pleasant mouthfeel, and tastes very almondy in a genuine way. I'd happily buy it again. As an added bonus, this drink has 5 grams of fiber and 35% of your recommended daily value of iron. Add some iced coffee to incorporate caffeine, and you will basically be unstoppable.

7. To The Power Of Seven Red Organic Juice Beverage

trader joe's red juice beverage
trader joe's red juice beverage - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

What makes this pretty red juice so powerful? I think the secret weapon is actually a whole army of different juices, many of which aren't typically found in regular morning fruit punch. The "seven" in question are strawberry, cranberry, hibiscus, beet, watermelon, elderberry, and apple. And yes, that is a lot of red, and yes, they all get along just fine.

This doesn't taste like any juice I have ever tried before. Cranberry keeps it a little tart; apple and strawberry keep it sweet and nostalgic; watermelon keeps it crisp and light; elderberry keeps it bold; hibiscus keeps it floral and herbal; and beets keep it complex and have to be the biggest key to that gorgeous pink color. When I sipped this beverage, I did indeed feel powerful, like I could get every nutrient out of every plant that contributed to this beverage. But most importantly, it tastes amazing.

6. Orange Peach Mango Juice

Trader Joe's Orange Peach Mango
Trader Joe's Orange Peach Mango - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

Juice drinking sometimes seems to be slowly going extinct. Many people were raised in the habit of a cup of orange juice alongside sugary cereal or buttered toast. But if you want to try to restore the joy-inducing little ritual, this might just be the one breakfast juice to rule them all. Trader Joe's Orange Peach Mango Juice tastes absolutely gorgeous.

Look, this juice is sweet. But that's not a bad thing — it's sweet like the fruit in its names, classic oranges, summery peaches, and tropical mango. It goes down so easily and, after the first sip, quickly had us craving another. Those ripe, tropical flavors go so well together. Add this juice to a smoothie for a sweet finish, to sparkling water for a lighter sip, or to your daily routine as an afternoon pick-me-up. I didn't know I could be so placated by a carton of grocery store juice, but that's Trader Joe's for you.

5. Plain Kefir

Trader Joe's Plain Kefir
Trader Joe's Plain Kefir - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

Do you know how yogurt has lots of nutrients, including live and active probiotics? Kefir is kind of like drinkable yogurt. It is created through a fermentation process that preserves all the good stuff yet makes the beverage safe and pleasant to drink.

Kefir is naturally a tart, tangy beverage, the equivalent of plain and unflavored yogurt. Thus, Plain Kefir is not at all sweet. The intensely creamy consistency has a fatty (even when it's low-fat) and piquant taste reminiscent of soft cheese. Once you shake the bottle to achieve the best consistency, you're getting a drink that's thick, rich, and deeply satisfying.

You can find sweetened and fruit-flavored options like Mango and Strawberry that are perfect for smoothies. I just found that, once we acquired the taste, we actually loved the sour, savory qualities of plain kefir. Trader Joe's is cost-effective and accessible, making it a staple in my shopping cart.

4. Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa

Trader Joe's Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa
Trader Joe's Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

Who doesn't love a comforting cup of hot cocoa in the winter? It's an automatic mood boost. But I think that hot cocoa marketing needs a little boost because it doesn't have to be winter to enjoy this cup of happiness. Seriously, why aren't we drinking hot cocoa year-round?

One way to keep your hot cocoa game going strong is by mixing it up with fun new flavors. Basic is good, but why not give it an upgrade? Trader Joe's Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa is right there, just waiting for you. I felt like a kid again when I stirred the powdered mix into hot water (or your milk of choice, but I went with water for this taste test). The experience of making the cocoa, and adding marshmallows or whipped cream, is reason enough to buy any hot cocoa mix, but this Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa is a real treat to actually drink, too. It creates a nicely texture beverage, not thick enough to be dessert-like but with enough body to actually taste slightly luxe. The caramel is detectable but not sickenly sweet, and the dash of salt brings out the flavor. It's an excellent hot cocoa mix.

3. Coconut Water

Trader Joe's Coconut Water
Trader Joe's Coconut Water - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

Have you ever tried coconut water? If you have, you'll know why I'm asking. It might be a bit of an acquired taste at first, to be fair. Or, if you're like me, you'll immediately wonder why you haven't tried it years ago.

Trader Joe's usually offers a few different kinds of coconut water, including an organic refrigerated option and some seasonal sparkling beverages. This 16.9-ounce plastic container is a convenient, portable way to try a smaller size of this super-hydrating beverage and see if you like it before (inevitable, in our experience) upgrading to the 33.8-ounce container also sold at TJ's. Best enjoyed refrigerated, this drink has a clean, slightly naturally sweet, and extremely refreshing taste to it. It's great mixed with other beverages to give them a tropical flair, or by itself on a hot day. If you love it enough to seek out the very best coconut water on the market, check out our full taste test of 13 Popular Coconut Water Brands, Ranked Worst To Best.

2. Non-Dairy Chocolate Oat Beverage

Trader Joe's Chocolate Oat Milk
Trader Joe's Chocolate Oat Milk - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

Of all the amazing, innovative alternative milk types on the market these days, oat milk has emerged as one of the most popular and versatile. A major selling point is the major creaminess that definitely outdoes almond or cashew milk, for example.  Though Trader Joe's regular oat milk isn't the best I've ever tried, it's very good.

If you are choosing your milk with sweetness in mind, why not just go all the way and make it chocolate milk? Trader Joe's offers a few different options for oat milk lovers, including its kid-friendly Non-Dairy Chocolate Oat Beverage. But I don't think that you have to be a kid to enjoy this one. In fact, I know it, since every adult involved in this taste test gave it two thumbs up. It's so smooth, perfectly chocolatey without being an overload, and has that wonderful velvety oat milk consistency. If you're in the mood for a little treat, treat yourself to this milk. And if you want our mature, professional opinion, well, putting a chocolatey breakfast cereal in this milk sounds like a great start to the day.

1. Sparkling Coconut Water With Yuzu

Trader Joe's Coconut Water Yuzu
Trader Joe's Coconut Water Yuzu - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

If you have made it this far, you already know that I was a big fan of Trader Joe's Coconut Water. And isn't everyone a fan of the flavor innovations and inventive, fun products that have become Trader Joe's signature selling point? A lot of good things came together in this Sparkling Coconut Water with Yuzu. This is one of the best sparkling beverages I have tried in a long, long time.

Trader Joe's Coconut Water is already extremely refreshing, but just wait until you make it bubbly. It's positively effervescent. Meanwhile, I am so glad that the more commonplace fruits go passed over in favor of the more unconventional yuzu. Yuzu is a citrus fruit that is zesty like a lemon but sweet like an orange, hailing from East Asia and, thankfully, making its way to curious American Trader Joe's customers. Its purée is used to sweeten and flavor this beverage, and it does enough work that there's no other sweetener needed. With one sip, I could picture myself appreciating the heck out of this beverage every day in the summertime. It's a delicious drink.

Methodology

lineup of nonalchoholic beverages
lineup of nonalchoholic beverages - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

In setting out to perform this taste test, I had to set some boundaries — otherwise, I would have wanted to purchase one of everything in the whole store. Alcoholic beverages were excluded, but, otherwise, any and all drinks were fair game. To create the best and most useful ranking, I decided to pick a wide variety of beverages and not to pick two or three items with markedly similar flavor profiles (Sparkling Green Tea with Pineapple and Sparkling Black Tea with Peach Juice Beverage, for example). Instead of diving deep into the differences between every single nut milk or fruit juice at Trader Joe's, I wanted to provide a starting point for those who are looking to expand and upgrade their beverage game but maybe don't know where to start in the wonderland that is Trader Joe's.

A mixture of price points, sizes, and nutritional contents are present on this list, but the primary factor used to determine rankings was taste. No one wants to buy a new product just to throw it away after one sip, so hopefully, this ranking helps point you in the right direction.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.